Now We’re Talking? Understanding the Interplay Between Online Selective and Incidental Exposure and Their Influence on Online Cross-Cutting Political Discussion

  • Nojin Kwak (Creator)
  • Daniel S. Lane (Creator)
  • Brian E. Weeks (Creator)
  • Dam Hee Kim (Creator)
  • Slgi S. Lee (Creator)



This study examines how two distinct patterns of online political information exposure—pro-attitudinal selective exposure and counter-attitudinal incidental exposure—can work together to influence engagement in online cross-cutting political discussion. Using panel data from a two-wave national survey conducted in 2012, we test two competing theoretical accounts. Findings suggest that incidental exposure affects selective exposure’s contribution to cross-cutting discussion in a curvilinear way. Incidental exposure strengthens the impact of selective exposure on cross-cutting discussion up until a certain point, after which it begins to attenuate its impact. Results emphasize the need to account for the multiple ways people encounter political information online.
Date made available2022
PublisherSAGE Journals

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